Thursday, August 20, 2015

Eats: Jalapeno Bread And Butter Pickles

Hello! As mentioned in my previous post, I really enjoyed sampling all the goodies at Galena Canning Company's two stores in Galena, IL. It was so hard to choose a favorite or two for purchase that I ended up not buying anything. I came very close to purchasing a jar of their jalapeno bread and butter pickles though.

I normally prefer garlic dills to the sweeter pickles, but when jalapenos are the main item in the jar, the combination of sweet and hot was a good one. When we returned home I decided to see if I could find a recipe for jalapeno bread and butter pickles online. 

And I was in luck with this recipe, which comes from Elise Bauer's Simply Recipes blog. I'm not a canner, but with Bauer's recipe the pickled veggies are stored in a refrigerator after being made - no further processing is needed. She says they'll last for a year or two thus stored.

(For those that do canning, she does mention that possibility at the end of the recipe.)

Minus a couple of the spices called for in the recipe and two pounds of jalapenos, I had everything for the recipe already on hand. So needless to say, I headed down to our Farmer's Market yesterday and got those jalapenos. 

Once home, according to recipe instructions, I cut off the jalapeno stems, then cut the peppers in half. I was supposed to remove the seeds and ribs next but left them in to keep the heat level up. I can handle a LOT of chili pepper fire, plus Bauer says that the bread and butter jalapenos seem to lose some of their punch after awhile. 

Skipping this step made the cutting-up prep go much faster too! But I don't advise bypassing the de-seeding if you want a mild level of heat. 

Added one pound of sliced onions and the specified type of salt to the veggies - either canning, kosher or sea salt can be used. I used sea salt because that's what I had on hand. 

Here's the cut-up jalapenos, onions and salt:

The mixture had to sit, covered, in the refrigerator four hours, then rinsed of the salt a couple of times. 

Then it was into a pot along with white and apple vinegars, sugar and various spices:

You may recall earlier in the post that I had all the spices on hand except for two - star anise and a cardamon pod. Did I go to the upscale spice shop downtown to see if they had these? No, instead I looked up other jalapeno bread and butter pickle recipes online to see if they included those spices in their recipes.

They did not, so I felt comfortable in staying away from the spice shop. However, I did notice that one of the other recipes included 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder, so I added that. 

(Note: I later learned that typically bread and butter pickles don't call for cinnamon and cloves, but Bauer's recipe did, both in whole form. I have these on hand, so I put them in the pickling mixture. You may experiment with leaving these spices out if you don't have cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in your pantry.)

Above, the jalapenos and onions are simmering in the pickling mixture. Bauer says to cook just until the jalapenos turn from bright to dull green. This step only took a few minutes. I stirred several times so that the peppers would evenly cook. 

Then it was just a matter of placing the mixture into two one-quart jars:

One mayonnaise jar, one canning jar - and one cook eager to see how the pickled peppers turned out! In the recipe's comment section, Bauer suggests waiting a day before sampling. Instead, I waited only until they cooled down, then tried one. Fantastic! And they really did taste very close to the ones I'd tasted at Galena Canning Company. 

Added some of the peppers to my lunchtime sandwich earlier today:

The jalapeno bread and butter pickles turned out to be a delicious complement to a turkey and Swiss on homemade potato bread (along with Farmer's Market lettuce and tomato plus some other yummy stuff). Hey, do I eat good or what? 

And I know there'll be plenty of good eating ahead with these spicy-sweet pickles. I am sure glad I made them - and now you can too if you go to the link above. 

(By the way, one quart jar of similar pickles at the Galena Canning Company cost $7.99, which isn't a bad price for a tourist town business. I estimated that the total cost for my two quarts of pickles was somewhere between $4.50-$5.00. Obviously, it helped that I had all the ingredients for the pickling mixture on hand except for two that I felt comfortable leaving out.)



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